We are mourning the lost of our prize calf. She was two days shy of 2 months old. She weighed in at 200# because of mother's milk. We began weaning her because the fresh pasture from mother's milk was giving her scours. Unfortunately, we let her out in a pen that had a sand/dirt mound and the weaning process made her curious for some tasty sand. We thought it kind of cute but odd. She was only out in the pen for four hours on Tuesday and five hours on Wednesday but had consumed a large quantity. The children were real troopers and tried all morning to get her to drink and stay alive. She died in their arms. The vet finally came at 9:15 a.m. We called at 6:00 a.m. but she had a herd call. It didn't matter. The vet would have hydrated and the calf would have died later. She performed an autopsy to discover the sand filled her stomach and secum. The intestines were empty and she was not getting any nourishment. Other than the sand she was a prize winning calf with a top ten sire and a Grand Champion dam. The vet was impressed with her growth and development. However, it didn't matter much, the calf was dead. My son, who was to show her at the county fair in August, took it hard. My daughter, who wants to be a vet, also had a tough time. I too had a good cry. It was good to know that we really didn't do anything to bring about her demise but certainly we are better for knowing the effects of a sand diet. Over the last four years we have never had an issue. This spring we have had milk fever, pneumonia and sand death. It is all good and makes us appreciate the farming life all the more. There is always something to learn. It was bound to happen, it was just a matter of time before the death cycle hit our little farmette. I was most surprised that my one son said he felt sand in her gut when he was caring for her. I didn't realize that he was right and didn't think it could kill her. We are now watching the other three calves to see if they consumed too much sand. So far everyone is passing and the digestive systems are working. If we had not started to wean, our calf may have pulled through but it is hard to say. The vet said it would have taken a miracle with that much sand even if we had not weaned her to get it out of her stomach and secum. Thanks for letting me ramble. This is a tough day for us all. I hope none of you have to experience this "sand" death.